Some want you to read it for its literary value- I say read it in the King James Version. If there is one book every Christian should have on their shelf, it’s a King James Bible. But even someone who isn’t a Christian should read it because it has shaped western thought indelibly. It has its own flow; word choices make you stop and mouth the word over to see how it feels across the tongue and lips; it has a rhythm and a time and place far removed from here and now. Be transported to ages past, the birthplaces of civilizations, foreign cultures. There are parts that repulse you and there are parts that move you closer to God and your fellow man. There are parts that make you want to scream, “God- what are You thinking??!!”
It contains wisdom of the ages by shepherds, prophets and farmers. Kings and poets, sometimes one and the same, flame their enemies and justify their own misdeeds.
But it is more than the sum of its parts- it is the transcendent God’s disclosure of Himself. Everything He wants us to know, He wrote down for us. It’s not merely a history of the world from the dawn of civilization through to the nuclear implosion. It draws down Heaven to our mundane lives and breathes into us the life He intended— if we will listen…
Do you hear Him calling? “Adam, where are you? Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?” He asks you and asks me, and He waits for our response.
Communication is sharing- the mutual exchange of information. There is a speaker and a listener, then they trade places. God spoke, Adam heard; Adam spoke, God heard. God did not speak to the light, the seas, the firmament, or the fish, fowl and beasts; He spoke to His image-bearers because they were spiritual beings like Him.
And sin entered when Adam flexed his freedom to take what he knew was forbidden. God didn’t stop talking, even when Adam stopped listening. And though the canon is closed, God is still talking. In the beginning was the Word, and the Word still speaks. It speaks to me and it speaks to you.
Are you listening?